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As the Democratic Presidential Primary winds down in Pennsylvania, to no surprise, neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama has provided the voters of Pennsylvania with a real proposal for saving Social Security.
It’s funny, the pundits say that the Democratic candidates have been able to draw young people into their campaigns, but when it comes to Social Security reform, the one issue that every young person (regardless of their political views) is going to feel the impact of, both candidates seem reluctant to talk about it.
With all of the back-and-forth exchanges between Senators Obama and Clinton, only once has the issue of Social Security been brought up. In fact, it was only brought up when framed as a question by Charles Gibson in the April 16th debate in Philadelphia.
Here is a quick summary of their exchange on Social Security during the debate (from CBSNews.com):
The candidates disagreed on how to help stabilize Social Security. Obama was open to the idea of raising the cap on the payroll tax if he determined that the additional revenue would help. Clinton disagreed. She said Obama was willing to raise taxes on the middle-class, which both candidates promised not to do, and referenced the bipartisan commission created by Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill in 1983 as a way of finding a solution to Social Security then and now.
“I will say, number one: Don’t cut benefits on current beneficiaries,” Clinton said. “They’re already having a hard enough time. And number two: Do not impose additional tax burdens on middle-class families.
There are lots of ways we can fix Social Security that don’t impose those burdens, and I will do that.” Obama pointed out that Clinton seemed to neglect the results of the 1983 commission. “That commission raised the retirement age, Charlie, and also raised the payroll tax,” Obama said. “And so Senator Clinton - she can’t have it both ways. You can’t come at me for proposing a solution that will save Social Security without burdening middle-income Americans and then suggest that somehow she’s got a magic solution.”
Are these once again, “just words?” They must be.
Does anyone see a plan here that will actually help solve the imminent problems facing retirement security for the over 180,000,000 Americans who are under the age of 45 (2000 Census)?
The reality is that even when the issue was raised in front of over 10 million viewers, they candidates seeking our nation’s highest office still couldn’t bring themselves to admit that the current system is structurally flawed, and cannot be fixed by tax-hikes and/or raising the age of retirement.
The only way that Social Security can be fixed is with a complete overhaul that will implement new options and incentives for younger workers.
Unless young Americans use the power they have in this election and demand proposals for saving Social Security, to candidates from all political backgrounds, it is likely that young people will be working further into their later years than any other generation.
While the race in Pennsylvania is wrapping up, it’s never too late to share your concerns for the future of Social Security, as well as the future of the financial security of America’s younger generation with the candidates you support.
At FreedomWorks.org, we have compiled contact information and various quotes from all of the remaining candidates on a variety of issues. I urge everyone, regardless of your age, income, and political affiliation to see where the candidates stand, especially on Social Security.
If they can’t provide a plan that gives real solutions over hypothetical scenarios, press them until they provide you with an adequate answer – and let us know what they say so we can tell others. It might take a few tries, but if you’re persistent, they’ll eventually answer.
As I mentioned in my last post on this issue, do not let any of the candidates get away with doubletalk on this issue. If the candidates are worried about the economic situation now, what are they willing to do to prevent a total collapse of retirement security in the future?